Popular Teas from TeawareSee All 51 Teas
Popular Teaware from TeawareSee All
Recent Tasting Notes
I got this yesterday as a Mothers Day present from the husband. It was smaller than I had expected and yields only around 3oz of tea once the leaf has unfurled (I did brew a Tieguanyin which is known for its expanding nature). The tea cups are tiny and I figured out very quickly that I would not be drinking out of them as I did not like the feel of them on my lips and the taste they added to the tea (yes I have drank from yixing cups before and that was enjoyable). Brewing yesterday was a bit of trial an error, my fingers got a bit burnt and I had to cut back on leaf and water but I eventually got some pretty good gongfu going last night. I had three sessions this morning before deciding to switch my leaf to the excess I had pulled out to dry last night. I rinsed the gaiwan with warm water but apparently not for long enough as when the water I had brought up to 200 degree hit the side of the gaiwan I heard a horrible pop and watched helplessly as my tea leaked onto the counter. Now I do mostly blame myself for this, but I will not be reordering this or another yixing clay porcalain lined gaiwan. For as striking as they may be, I honestly had a wierd feeling yesterday when I pulled this out of the package that it was frail and brittle, paper thin but not strong like bone china. The husband has graciously offered to order me another gaiwan, I will be selecting more carefully this time and am open to suggestions. I am just grateful that this was only $16 for the set and that the crack did not split the form, so it can sit on top of the tea hutch with its three thimble cups next to my bulky sage green dragon and phoenix yixing pot and cups, yep I’m a sucker for raised dragons. Sigh.
Best tea tumbler I’ve ever used. The basket has tiny holes instead of being a mesh, so I’m unlikely to break it and only the tiniest bit of tea particles get through. I love that you can flip it to stop the steeping, and you don’t have to take out the basket to drink it. Not so good for use when driving, but fantastic for drinking out and about.
Technically this was made for coffee but it is my tea brewing vessel of choice. I found this at Starbucks. It currently sells for $16.95. The carafe is borosilicate glass. The frame is 30% post consumer plastic. The plunger and filter screen parts are stainless. The 4 cup version holds up to 17oz (503ml). I generally fix a single cup at a time.
To use, the loose leaf is put in the carafe. Water is heated in a separate kettle and poured into the carafe. The lid/plunger assembly is placed on top the carafe with the plunger in the up position. The leaf is free to move about. When the steeping time is done the plunger can be pushed down or left up and the tea poured into the cup without the leaf escaping.
Clean up is as simple as removing the lid, turning the carafe upside down over a compost bowl and wiping with a paper towel. Since it is glass it does not absorb any of the flavor of the tea so a simple rinse is usually sufficient. Honestly, most of the time wiping with the towel gets it clean enough. It is dishwasher safe. Occasionally I dismantle the stainless filter assembly for a more thorough cleaning.
This is excellent especially for green and white teas where holding the heat in is not as important. It has the added advantage of allowing you to observe the dance of the leaf during steeping. To me if you can’t watch the leaf you are missing an important part of the experience.
I also use it for black, puerh, and oolongs. Puerh generally uses such short steep times that heat dissipation is not an issue. For teas that require long steep times of several minutes, you may prefer another method but I personally have never found heat dissipation to be a problem. Rooibos and very fine leaf is better served with a Finum basket.If you push the plunger down after steeping, it does not actually press the leaf. There is a good half inch of space between the screen and the bottom of the carafe. If you don’t push the plunger down, you will need to put a finger over the lid to keep it from sliding and causing some spilling.
I chose the press over a gravity feed system (like IngenuiTEA) because this was glass, not plastic, and it was cheaper. I also was concerned any device that pours tea out the bottom might eventually leak.
I got this as a present from someone who knows I love tea! I washed it up and brought it to work today to try out. It doesn’t seem like it holds very much, but I appreciate the mesh tea strainer. I’m drinking some Oolong from Verdant this morning. The tea strainer is easy to use, although I wish I had a place to put it until it’s time to steep again.
I accidentally screwed on the lid wrong and tea dripped out and burned my arm. Make sure you screw it on carefully and look to make sure it’s straight across. If it’s tilted even a little it will leak as you try to drink.
Okay, the arm-burning aside, I like this! It has kept my tea warm for hours. HOURS! This is even with the lid that has openings to drink — not the screw-on one. I think it seemed like it didn’t hold much because it has some serious insulation in there. It really works! Usually my tea is ice cold by this time of the morning. YUM, hot tea! The person that gave this to me was right on the money.
As far as portable infusers go, this is by far the most superior one in my humble opinion. The sole reason for this is not the aesthetic, nor the BPA-free plastic and what have you. It is for the sole reason that the little strainer can, with the switch of a lever, be taken out of the water at will and thus you have nearly full control over the steeping time.
This is key to any tea epicurean, not so? Even the finest Yi-xing clay tumbler has nothing on this piece of plastic for this one reason. None of the portable glass presses that I’ve seen, or any other tea traveler, mug or tumbler has this option. All except this one, will leave the leaves in the water until you empty the tumbler – this is a fatal shortcoming.
All other qualities are touched on in the other review. I’ve had mine for 6 months and have had no problems with it. Water stays very warm, never spilled in my bag etc. I’ve dropped it x times to many though, far too many, and it’s not as pretty as it used to be – but it steeps as well as ever.
The coolest tea travel mug around! Just make sure you screw the caps on tightly! I love using this tea tumbler for cold steeps and iced tea, but it also does well with hot green and white teas.
I got this travel tumbler from http://zentealife.com/
The bad? It advises not to use boiling water in the instructions. You wouldn’t want to use anything more than 200F anyways as the body also gets pretty hot. The filter is also on the small side and is a tight fit if you use whole leaf teas intended to make a full 16oz tumbler of tea.
I still love this tumbler though – no leaks and it looks really cool!
Full review on my blog, The Oolong Owl http://oolongowl.wordpress.com/2013/04/20/t-free-hourglass-travel-tea-tumbler-tea-ware-review/
With this bottle, the mesh is not immersed in the boiling water as with other infusers.
If you watch the videos online, they point out so many ways to use this wrong, making it sooooo easy to use. I make my tea, let it stand 5 minutes to let steam escape, put the lid on, throw the bottle in my bag, and I’m on my way. It might leak if you bump the lid, but it’s only drops.
I like the idea of the see-through infuser but I’m always afraid of breaking the glass ones and my Bodum tea press leaks through the top.
The Libre Tea bottle is perfect… now if only I could find it in a bigger size for road trips, etc.
I’ve been using this for about a month now and still use it everyday! Love it! I still wouldn’t tip it upside down to brew however…it leaks sometimes still. But as in a previous review by Hesper June I too have sometimes been brewing tea in it! Since I don’t have a gongfu teapot or a gaiwan, this seemed perfect (technically a bit big) for gongfu brewing but it does the job and I don’t spend more money:)
I bought the large mug specifically for Rooibos teas or herbals where you can leave the leaves brewing for an extended period of time. I love that the filter strains the Rooibos when I am drinking it. I have never had any problem with the rooibos passing through the filter. I have tried brewing the tea the alternate way (by putting it in the filter and tipping it upside down after the required cooling period) and have gotten occasional leaks. I contacted the company and they have been very helpful with hints etc and even offered to send me a new seal! I am still not sold on the inverting method of brewing the tea in this mug—by the time the hot water cools to the point that i can invert it my black tea doesn’t seem to brew nicely; however it is great for brewing my rooibos. I use the mug everyday!
The only gripe I have about this system is that the strainer doesn’t stay level in the cup. Yes, I know this is a minor gripe, but sometimes I’m a little bit compulsive, and you would think that a strainer/cup/lid designed for each other could fit together PERFECTLY. I also like to fill the cup up as high as possible. Since the strainer isn’t level, I often fill the cup just a hair too high for the low end of the strainer and get a few leaves floating over into my tea. Besides this minor MINOR complaint, I love it!
I ordered myself one of these after using my mother’s a couple times and really enjoying it. Annoyingly, even though I ordered a design with birds and magnolias, the cup I received was plain white. I wrote to Amazon to complain, and they did nothing, then wrote to Tea Forte and they sent me a replacement and said to keep the first cup. So, these are my current favorites to use, and I really enjoy having two to switch around and use during the day without having to constantly wash.
The cups keep tea nice and hot while it steeps, and the lids also help a lot. The strainer is fairly effective, and better than many I’ve tried at keeping small particles out of the liquor.
Full Review will be on http://sororiteasisters.com/ on the 12th. Its a lengthy review but here are the snippits for now:
I have mixed feelings about my Libre Tea Glass n Poly Original.
To begin, there is one strong point about this tea glass that I want to point out. I have no idea why it is not highlighted more on their site, perhaps it is and I have not found it, but it is one of the most breathtaking parts about this item so if I were selling them I would have it very easy to find on the site. The part I am talking about is the lid! (stunning photo will be included in the full review on http://sororiteasisters.com/ )
More on sipping: Maybe it is me, maybe I really do have a drinking problem, a tea drinking problem that is, but sometimes if I am not being mindful enough, when I take a sip there is a dribble, usually ending up on my shirt. I feel it has to do with the small sipping radius of the opening, and the threads where the lid screws on. The opening radius is small – my entire nose more or less has to go into the glass to get my lips around the opening. That makes it even more difficult to sip while the tea is still hot. No worries though that does not last too terribly long. Also due to the radius it is difficult to get enough of my mouth in the right place for proper sipping. Granted I may have a big mouth but it is something I have noticed. Due to it being a travel glass however I really don’t want the hassle of having to be all that mindful while sipping on the go. Ease of use could be far better.
Size: Yes it does matter. I got the original size Libre. Its a decent size. Fits my small hand perfectly. If I liked it more, if it retained heat better, I would probably also get a larger size for longer travels as I can sip a tea down in light speed. However I will pass on getting a larger one due to the issues I have with this one.
For me the downfall is I truly do not ENJOY sipping my tea out of the Libre Glass n Poly and tea should be enjoyable to sip.
I address heat retention and other issues as well so don’t miss the full review! :)
Tried mine for the first time today. Had some issues. I am not rating until I give it another go. Was not user error – I read the instructions – watched the video ….
Not thrilled but giving it more time and more usage.
Will do full review when I am not exhausted – plus need to go get the tea stains out of my pants from the earlier disaster.
Full review on http://sororiteasisters.com/ on the 7th but here are my snippits:\
The sifter comes with this scoop like tool that helps you push or drag the matcha along the screen to sift it.
Its easy to clean as well which for me is a HUGE plus!
The canister is quite large. I have sifted a full 60 grams of matcha and had plenty of room to spare.
I find it far more convenient than using what I had in the past which was just your basic kitchen strainer. I always made messes when using that and wasted some good matcha!
Please visit the blog to find out more!
I have had my Aladdin tea infuser mug for at least four years and I still love it. It is a double walled plastic thermos mug with and internal fine mesh basket in the lid that sits above the water line until you lower it. You fill the basket with your tea, fill the thermos to the fill line with hot water and when you are ready to lower the basket in the water or raise it, you use the lever on the outside of the lid to move the basket. You never have to open the mug to steep your tea. I read that it is microwave safe, but I have never put mine in the microwave. The lever mechanism has metal, so it would I’d microwave only the mug part.
I first bought one for my sister as a gift and a few months later purchased my own. When comparing notes with her, she complained that the infuser basket on hers would always fall down into the water. Mine clicks when put up and stays in place. I called the company to inquire about the difference and they offered to send a replacement! The new one was just like mine with a clicking sound when the basket is raised. I have read other reviews complaining about the falling basket and I’m guessing Aladdin was paying attention to it and fixed the issue in later models.
My experience with this mug has been fantastic. I do try to keep it upright and and not just toss it in a bag and I haven’t had any leaks. The inside of the mug has etched a little over years of use and slightly discolored, but it doesn’t seem to hold onto smell much. Pouring boiling water and baking soda resolves both those issues. The basket mesh is fine enough that I haven’t had any issues of smaller particles finding their way into my tea. My only complaint is that the basket is small for teas that need lots of room for expansion, but it would make the whole mug bulkier so it’s a trade off I can live with. With the double walled design, the mug keeps tea warm for a while. I find it irritating when I want to drink my tea sooner than later, but it’s better than the opposite problem and my tea is still warm if I forget it for a while.
Someone asked me how well it holds heat so I did an experiment. I poured boiling water in the mug and took the temperature every half hour. It was sitting inside my house (kept at 70F) and I opened the part of the lid that you sip through to stick the thermometer in, then closed it again when I got a temp. Here is what I got: @0m/188F, 30m/149F, 60m/130F, 90m/120F, 120m/109F, 150m/98F It won’t keep your tea warm all day, but it will be warm for a couple hours.
Overall I’m quite satisfied with this mug and I would happily buy it again if it eventually gave out.
Dear reader, I feared this was a gimmick. I can not resist gimmicks even when I identify them correctly and had been craving this for, like ever, and never been on stock or available from any place with reasonable shipping. Till now, when thanks to a friend who spotted the very last one (obrigada!) I got one of my very own! Would it live up to expectations?
By the way this is theoretically Yumchaa´s Magic tea Filter http://www.yumchaa.com/produkty/tea-making-equipment/38/ though the box says this is Magic II by Cha Cult and patented to them though it seems there are tons of different versions of this. It´s a sort of good-plastic mug with a good silicone filter at bottom. You put the tea in, pour the water and after steeping, place over a mug which is smaller in diameter than the bottom of this infuser, the pression at bottom makes the water pour from the bottom. Gimmick or not?
At first, without figuring out how to remove the filter or lid for easier cleaning I very much feared it was a gimmick. Fun but so not easy to clean up. What would be the point of something much more difficult to clean than a regular teapot if it does not brew better than a regular teapot? But then I figured out how to remove the filter and lid for easier rinsing and cleaning, and OK that changes everything. Particularly for rooibos teas or for multiple steeps of the same tea – it really is more convenient while not being any more difficult to clean. I love seeing how the leaves expanded and opened during the infusion. I am pretty happy with it so far!
As drawbacks, well, you got to let the tea leaves cool a bit before removing them to clean the filter – I surprisingly more difficult to remember this than you would think. And for some reason this little .5 liter pot and the transparency of the pot I keep misjudging how much leaf to use – I suspect it will come with practice. But in all, more than a gimmick, a very nice well thought tool I am glad I got. BUT and there is a but, while really very convenient for a few brews (multiple steeps, rooibos), I am not sure this makes better tea than any old regular teapot with loose tea and a strainer.
My microwave broke and I have been enjoying the throwback to the 70’s lifestyle before microwaves were standard in every house, so I haven’t replaced or fixed it. The feature I miss most on it is the timer, so when I saw this tea timer while grocery shopping it was obvious it must come home with me.
This timer has a couple features that are pretty neat. It can double as a lid for a standard small round tea tin, which is pretty clever designing! It’s a tight squeeze, but it works. That feature would probably suit someone who has only a few teas in their collection. I have over 30 teas in my cupboard, so searching for the one tin with the timer isn’t going to work in my house. Fortunately it also has a magnet inside the plastic casing, so I am able to stick it on my fridge instead. Perfect! It has five preset buttons, color coordinated for the type of tea; 1 minute for white, 2 for green, 4 for black, 5 for oolong and 6 for herbal. It also has a button for you to add minutes to the time, one to add seconds to the time, both of which beep for every second/minute you add (annoying) and the start/stop button. The preset buttons are great, but it’s the recommended time for their teas to steep. Other companies have different suggestions for steeping time for their teas, so I find myself having to add time to adjust. Not the end of the world, but not super convenient either. The timer only goes up to nine minutes and fifty nine so you can’t use it for any other application that may need more time. If you add too much time you have to reset it which consists of pressing the start/stop button enough to clear it. I like that it runs on standard AAA batteries, not some hard to find watch sized, but it looks like you need a screwdriver to get past the 4 screws and into the battery compartment. I have only had it for a few days, but I’m finding the buttons get stuck and don’t pop back up the way they should. I have to press on them and tilt them in the opposite direction of where they are stuck to release them. Lastly, the beep reminds me of some super annoying digital alarm clock that left early morning scars on my subconscious. I would have preferred a little tune of some sort that doesn’t set off a clawing urgency inside me to shut the timer up when I’m preparing to relax with a cup of tea, but oh well!
Despite the down sides and room for improvement, I dub this sleek looking little timer a keeper.
I like these infusers well enough. They’re fairly sturdy as glass infusers go. The bottom is perfectly flat though, which causes a bit of suction on most wet surfaces. I haven’t had this problem with other double-wall glass infusers like this, and I’ve owned quite a few. The upside is that this design makes them very stable.
I use both the small and large version, particularly with Longjing teas. I’ve begun using the smaller one more frequently in combination with my 5 oz Finum glass. Find they compliment each other very well, being a good size match when brewing and leaving a root.
Though not my favorite, I still end up buying these, as I can get them at a discount from my local tea shop, Wing Hop Fung. I break my glassware more often then I care to admit, so price and convenience is a consideration. The downside of buying from Wing Hop Fung is that it appears they often carry seconds, which usually translates into minor visual imperfection, or worse, the filter doesn’t fit properly and will push through. Often this can be corrected by bending the little tabs that help hold it in place, but better still is to just dig through all their boxes until you get one that’s in good shape.
If you find yourself in Los Angeles, it’d certainly be worth checking these out, especially if they’re having a sale! Otherwise, not being able to inspect them first, I’d be hesitant to order one online.
In an office in Singapore, the temperature is usually very cool (and way below that of outside air); I’m not that sensitive to the cold and my friends in Europe can attest to that as some complained it was too cold in my home in winter. However I’m quite sensitive to strong temperature differences between places.
This sitting in a cold draft feeling explains why I drink more tea here than I used to, because sometimes I really need the hot cup to keep my fingers from getting blue and to warm my insides – environmental nonsense in a country where a very cool outside temperature stand around 27°C (around 80°F). Drinking tea also helped me compensate for my drastic cut in my daily espresso consumption (from 5 to 6 a day to 1)
At the office, the coffee is excellent, but the available teas are really average tea-bags, that I’ve all tried and drank once but either knew I had to avoid at all cost forever or could drink but did not feel like having again.
I decided then that life was too short to waste on drinking brewed dust, bitter and sometimes even vile-tasting brews which left me almost queasy after one cup.
I wanted something convenient, easy to clean, not fragile, as I can be a bit of a klutz and knew I would have to carry my cup back and forth between the kitchen and my desk. This last criteria definitely ruled out the Bodum Tea for one set, which I was already afraid to break when putting down on the store’s table, and for which the salesguy told me it was great because you could still use the filter (plastic mesh) with another cup, when the double-glass cup got broken by the clumsy customer.
After a while, I came across this set, which was on sale, and available in a nice fuchsia color.
I liked the design, the glass looked sturdy, easy to handle, without any risks thanks to the silicon wide ring. I also liked that the filter was a very fine mesh, through which rooibos could not go through. What I found a bit disappointing was the glass capacity (bigger than the Bodum though), especially as there was a larger glass with the same design available but without the strainer and cover.
It’s very convenient to use, rather easy to rinse, without having to use a sponge or brush to take the tea / rooibos leaves outside of the strainer. I usually manage not to have tea dripping on my desk when taking the filter out of the cup or back into it; the strainer handle fits really well, never gets hot. The filter is really stable once set onto the cover dish. The large silicon ring around the glass allows for a very comfortable walk with the glass full, the grip not feeling slippery at all even with clammy hands, unlike when holding a normal glass.
The glass and strainer get stained by tea (which I do not mind but some others might). However my main concern is that the plastic mesh is already quite crinkled, as if it could not completely stand boiling hot water temperature. I have trouble to believe this filter can be as long-lasting as a stainless steel one. I had not directly compared it with the Bodum, but both had seemed very similar.
As it is, I’m very happy with this set whose advantages are obvious everyday to my clumsy self.
Had I found before the Forlife strainer, I probably would have bought two of these, one for home, one for the office instead of this set.
Time will tell which one of the two (stainless steel vs. plastic mesh) strainers is the more long-lasting one…
I used to own a Piao I Teapot, but it broke. The stainless steel ball came loose, and I had no idea how to fix it. I couldn’t find pictures of what it was supposed to look like, and no one could tell me how to put it back together. Since I bought it when on vacation in Seattle but live in Maryland, I couldn’t just go back to the teashop where I purchased it. It took me forever to figure out how to fix it, and even then, it wasn’t a lasting solution.
In the end, it turns out that this product was not made to last. Apparently if the mesh strainer doesn’t stay down, the whole thing comes apart and the ball moves off the track. I tried super gluing the mesh strainer back in place so that it would stay down, but even that didn’t work. It kept popping up anyway any time I turned it upside down, which I had to do to clean it. Tea leaves really stick to that thing!
So while it was great while it lasted, I can’t recommend this infuser. Your money is better spent elsewhere.